Log in

Top Stories        News         Sports

Trinity County News 2

Trinity falls in opener

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

A Trinity runner gains ground against the Diboll Lumberjacks. (Courtesy photo by Scott Womack)A Trinity runner gains ground against the Diboll Lumberjacks. (Courtesy photo by Scott Womack)

By Scott Womack
TCNS correspondent

DIBOLL — The Tigers were unable to sustain any scoring drives and dropped the district opener 49-8.

The Tigers faced the 2020 defending District Champion Lumberjacks on Friday. 

The Tigers received the opening kickoff and were unable to move the ball and were forced to punt. The Lumberjacks first possession resulted in a 72-yard scoring drive, and with the Tigers blocking the extra point kick, Trinity trailed 6-0 with 5:15 left in the first quarter. 

The Tigers were able to move the ball on their next drive, starting at their own 23-yard line, and a mix of passing and running put the Tigers in position to reach the end zone. On third & 10 from the Lumberjack 12-yard line, Cole Caldwell was able to complete a pass  to Terius Maxie for a touchdown. The Tigers took the lead on a pass from Andrew Crabtree to Caldwell for a successful 2-point try and an 8-6 lead early in the second quarter. 

The Tiger defense was able to force a punt, but an intercepted Tiger pass for a score gave the lead back to the Lumberjacks. The Tigers were unable to get their offense back on track and the Lumberjack offense was able to put three more touchdowns on the scoreboard before halftime and took a 35-8 lead into the locker room at halftime. 

Trinity was able to hold the Lumberjacks to two scores in the second half but couldn’t generate any offense of its own.

The Tigers will be back at Tiger Stadium Friday Night as they host the Coldspring-Oakhurst Trojans. The Tigers will face many distractions throughout the week as the Trinity Community Fair will be held on Friday and Saturday, but the coaching staff has been stressing the need to stay focused on the game on Friday night and enjoy the festivities on Saturday. Kick-off will be at 7 p.m.

  • Hits: 824

Redistricting may mean change in Trinity

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Proposed districtsProposed districts

By Tony Farkas
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

AUSTIN — A plan being considered by the Texas Legislature for redistricting U.S. Congressional Districts could mean a different representative for Trinity County.

Labeled PLANC2101, Trinity County will become part of Congressional District 17, leaving District 8. 

Other notable area changes include part of Walker County, as well as Madison and Grimes counties, will move into District 10. According to documents from the Texas Legislative Council, congressional districts have been apportioned by a population count of 766,987

Current DistrictsCurrent DistrictsDistrict 8 currently is represented by Republican Kevin Brady, who has announced his retirement and will serve out his remaining term. District 17 is represented by Republican Pete Sessions, a Republican from Waco. District 10 is represented by Michael McCaul, a Republican from Austin.

While District 17 picked up more of East Texas, it lost ground in the west, which was assumed by District 10. District 8 ceded several counties to both 10 and 17.

Part of the reason the Texas Legislature is in its third special session is to deal with redistricting; as of now, no plan has been approved.

In the case of Walker County, according to state law, before elections are held under the new districts, counties that are split by congressional, legislative, or State Board of Education district boundaries under the newly adopted plans must change their voting precinct boundaries to conform with the new district lines.

The state constitution requires a candidate for state legislative office to have resided for at least one year before the general election in the district the candidate seeks to represent.

  • Hits: 1242

County approves budget

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Countyseal 200By Tony Farkas
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners’ Court approved its budget for the next year, but not without some disagreement.

The approval was given at a Sept. 21 special meeting.

The county also approved the salary schedule for elected officials, which reflect changes that were made after the county commissioned a salary survey several months ago.

Commissioner Neal Smith pointed out that the commissioners had an older version of the budget document, which did not show the same figures as County Judge Doug Page and County Auditor Bonnie Kennedy had.

While questioning some of the differences, and specific line items, Kennedy upbraided Smith for his disrespectful attitude, while Smith maintained he needed to be able to question items in the budget.

During the public hearing on the budget, David Robison, owner of Groveton EMS, petitioned the court for a $250 per month increase to help offset costs that have gotten out of control because of COVID.

The county pays $1,500 per month to Groveton EMS for ambulance service in the county.

In the end, the budget was passed, with Smith voting against it.

In other business, the county:

  • approved a new position for IT services, andauthorized advertising to fill the position;
  • directed commissioners to nominate a person from each precinct to serve on a jail committee, along with Sheriff Woody Wallace, District Attorney Bennie Schiro, County Attorney Colton Hay and two as-yet-unnamed members of the Commissioners’ Court;
  • approved an agreement between the county and Jeff Diamond for access to private property to address drainage issues on county property;
  • discussed Dumpster rental for proposed county clean-up projects;
  • discussed the purchase of tire shredding machines; and
  • delayed for the third time enacting a burn ban in the county.
  • Hits: 814

Legislators give session update

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Rep. Trent Ashby (right) and Sen. Robert Nichols discuss some of the successes of this year’s legislative session during a Town Hall meeting recently. (Photo by Tony Farkas/TCNS)Rep. Trent Ashby (right) and Sen. Robert Nichols discuss some of the successes of this year’s legislative session during a Town Hall meeting recently. (Photo by Tony Farkas/TCNS)

By Tony Farkas
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GROVETON — During a brief two-week respite between legislative sessions, area legislators gave updates to their constituents about the work being done — before having to return to Austin for a third special session.

Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, and Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin, spoke to members of the Trinity County Republican Party on Sept. 13.

“I feel like I’m in the session that will never end,” Nichols said. 

Nichols recounted some of the larger issues that was dealt with during the main session — Winter Storm Uri, and how our electricity grid was so vulnerable; a voter integrity bill that made it harder for people to cheat, and that Texas is now a Second Amendment sanctuary state.

However, one big area of concern which flew under the radar was spam and telemarketing calls, which Nichols said was a problem for himself as well. After looking into the matter, he supported, and the Legislature passed, the Respect Your Privacy Act.

He dubbed that Phase 1. 

I kept hearing that TxDOT was selling a lot of this information, and as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, I focused on DPS, DMV and TxDOT.

When I talked with the DMV, I was upset to find out that so much information about my personal vehicle was being shared. I found that people could get where I bought my car, how much I paid for it, which bank has a lien on it and how much the lien is.

About 70 entities were getting that information from the state. You might as well give it to Google. I said we weren’t going to do that anymore.

TxDOT wasn’t really selling anything, except the subscriber list for Texas Highways magazine, and then I went over to DPS and found 1,100 different entities get everything that’s on your driver’s license, which then turns around and does something else with it. That ticked me off. They got $67 million a year for doing that.

Nichols said that years ago, the Texas Legislature passed bills requiring the sale of that information. He also said that Phase 2, next year, which will take on the state Nursing Board which sells information.

Ashby said this year was one of the best sessions for rural Texas he’s been part of, and one of the best ones for protecting the second amendment. 

“We pushed forward eminent domain reform to level the playing field between landowners and large firms with eminent domain powers,” he said. 

Ashby also touted this session as one of most pro-life session ever in the state of Texas.

“One bill bans any abortions once you can detect a heartbeat in that mother’s womb,” he said. “Doctors say that’s right at 6 weeks, and that is not law in the state of Texas. Secondly, we passed a bill in response to what’s happening at the U.S. Supreme Court; it appears they may be getting ready to take back up a bill like (the heartbeat bill). We passed — preemptively — a bill that states if Roe v. Wade is overturned, within 30 days of that Texas will ban all abortions.”

Ashby said that was done because they want to protect life.

Broadband internet measures passed, which were co-sponsored by Ashby in the House and Nichols in the Senate. Within a year, there will be a plan, and internet service providers will begin the process of upgrading all internet access to high-speed.

Aside from banning boys from participating in girls sports, the Legislature will take up redistricting in the next special session. He said that there was a huge undercount in this year’s Census, but since those are the numbers he has to work with, he will have to find about 30,000 residents to keep his district intact.

For Nichols, that number is even higher.

  • Hits: 766

Trinity passes contentious budget

1 Comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

trinity tx 250By Tony Farkas
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TRINITY — The Trinity City Council approved a budget that includes a 5 percent raise for employees, but not without pushback from council members.

At a meeting on Thursday, the council approved a budget with general fund expenditures of $3,854,750. Additionally, the council approved a tax rate that is exactly the same as last year’s, $0.6138 per $100 valuation.

State accountant and City Council Member Clegg DeWalt said he looked over both versions of the budget, but budgets do not guarantee the availability of funds.

He in particular questioned a “$120,000 hole in our bucket” regarding income from selling water to other county entities.

“If we pass this budget with pay raises, and the money doesn’t materialize, what will we do to cover those pay raises?” he asked.

Council Member Bubba Smith said the city will end up going into debt. He also said that a blanket raise of 5 percent did not seem fair.

“Why does (a police officer) that has been here 6 years get the same raise as Joe Blow who has been here 6 weeks?” Smith asked. “Some employees are not up to par, and do not deserve the same raise as other. What’s the point of me giving 100 percent when my coworker gives 30 percent and gets the same raise?”

Smith said there needed to be an evaluation process that would determine raises, and that the council should be able to see employee evaluations on a monthly basis.

Mayor Wayne Huffman said that the city employees deserve a raise.

Smith also pointed out that since the city has reserved 100 percent of the water supplied by the Trinity River Authority, it was an extra $9,000 per month of expense to Trinity.

“We can’t just keep on the way we’re going, we have to figure this out,” he said. “I want the record to show that we’re going to come in here and loot the budget. That’s great, but next year, I’d like to see evaluations of our employees.”

Both Smith and Mayor Pro Tem Billy Goodin voted against approving the budget.

Following the meeting, Huffman and audience members held a heated conversation regarding the use and administration of grants.

In other business, the city:

  • approved the tax roll provided by Trinity County Appraisal District;
  • approved the interest and sinking funds for debts for the coming fiscal year;
  • approved deposit requirements for retiring city debts; and
  • approved the holiday schedule for the coming fiscal year.
  • Hits: 1385